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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday questioned India’s delayed acceptance of “accidental” firing of a supersonic missile which landed in Mian Channu on March 9 and demanded a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident, as well as, urging the world community to take serious notice of the incident of grave nature in a nuclearized environment.

Responding to India’s explanation of the incident, Foreign Office raised some fundamental questions surrounding the incident, asking India to explain, if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements. “We have taken note of the press statement by the Indian Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing regretting the “accidental firing” of the Indian origin missile into Pakistani territory on 9th March 2022 due to “technical malfunction” and decision to hold an internal Court of Inquiry,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

It added that the grave nature of the incident raises several fundamental questions regarding security protocols and technical safeguards against accidental or unauthorized launch of missiles in a nuclearized environment.

“Such a serious matter cannot be addressed with the simplistic explanation proffered by the Indian authorities,” it added.

India has to explain Mian Channu incident: DG ISPR

The Foreign Office also put forward some of the questions, which is stated must be answered, including; India must explain the measures and procedures in place to prevent accidental missile launches and the particular circumstances of this incident.

It added that India needs to clearly explain the type and specifications of the missile that fell in Pakistani territory, adding India also needs to explain the flight path/ trajectory of the accidentally launched missile and how it ultimately turned and entered into Pakistan?

“Was the missile equipped with self-destruct mechanism? Why did it fail to actualize? Are Indian missiles kept primed for launch even under routine maintenance,” it asked.

The Foreign Office further asked as to why did India fail to immediately inform Pakistan about accidental launch of the missile and waited to acknowledge till after Pakistan announced the incident and sought clarification?

“Given the profound level of incompetence, India needs to explain if the missile was indeed handled by its armed forces or some rogue elements,” it further asked.

It further stated that the whole incident indicates many loopholes and technical lapses of serious nature in Indian handling of strategic weapons, adding that Indian decision to hold an internal court of inquiry is not sufficient since the missile ended up in Pakistani territory.

“Pakistan demands a joint probe to accurately establish the facts surrounding the incident,” it stated, adding that given the short distances and response times, any misinterpretation by the other side could lead to counter measures in self-defence with grave consequences. “Pakistan; therefore, calls upon the international community to take serious notice of this incident of grave nature in a nuclearized environment and play its due role in promoting strategic stability in the region,” it added.

On March 11, the Indian Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing, through a statement, regretted the incident which it stated was a “technical malfunction” and led to the “accidental” firing of the missile. “On 9 March 2022, in the course of a routine maintenance, a technical malfunction led to the accidental firing of a missile. The government of India has taken a serious view and ordered a high-level Court of Enquiry.

It is learnt that the missile landed in an area of Pakistan. While the incident is deeply regrettable, it is also a matter of relief that there has been no loss of life due to the accident,” read the brief statement of the India’s Press Information Bureau’s Defence Wing.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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